White Ethnic New York
Jews, Catholics, and the Shaping of Postwar Politics
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright
In the course of writing White Ethnic New York, I have incurred countless personal and intellectual debts. Whatever faults this book suffers are my responsibility alone, but whatever strengths it possesses are very much the collective achievement of many friends and colleagues. ...
In the fall of 1954 Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, used his Rosh Hashanah sermon to trumpet the harmony between traditional Judaism and social criticism. It was a theme he revisited often with his congregants on the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), when his synagogue was filled to peak capacity. ...
Reflecting upon his childhood in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale in the 1950s, Joshua Koreznick recalled that "virtually everyone was Jewish." On Yom Kippur, Judaism's most sacred day, "the school was open, but it was a little ludicrous . . . almost like playing a game, [pretending] that it was not a Jewish community." ...
In Annie Hall (1977), his classic satire of postwar Jewish life, filmmaker Woody Allen invested his onscreen alter ego with nearly every imaginable characteristic commonly associated with New York Jews. High-strung, neurotic, overly disputative, and relentlessly overintellectual, Alvy Singer exists in a world built entirely of cliches to which even he subscribes. ...
Between the 1940s and 1960s, many of the ideological differences between Jewish and Catholic New Yorkers originated with a fundamental disagreement over the definition of good citizenship. Jewish religious leaders used the scriptures to remind their congregants, in the words of one rabbi, that "history shows us how the idealist with his far-fetched ideas can overthrow reality and create new epochs." ...
In 1949 a seventh-grade social studies teacher from Brooklyn named May Quinn found herself at the center of a gathering political storm. Quinn was hardly a stranger to controversy. Six years earlier, a dozen of her public school colleagues had filed an official complaint alleging that she promoted "intolerance and un-Americanism" in her classroom. ...
For several days in the late summer of 1949, national attention turned to Peekskill, New York, a small town forty miles upstate from Manhattan. There, a predominately Catholic mob twice ambushed a benefit concert featuring the renowned left-wing political activist and virtuoso, Paul Robeson. ...
In December 1966 the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal announced that white "backlash" had come to Brooklyn. Only a month before, New York City voters had approved a binding referendum that eliminated the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a commission established by Mayor John Lindsay to hear official charges of police misconduct. ...
Throughout the 1960s, social upheaval in New York drew Jews and Catholics closer together in their position on race relations. Both groups began the decade as wholehearted supporters of integration and ended it as skeptics of its social value. It would follow naturally that the city's Irish, Italian, and Jewish voters might forge a united electoral block ...
Americans living in the late 1960s witnessed a general unraveling of authority in virtually every area of life—from the church to the classroom, and from the dinner table to the political convention. Many of these social and political disturbances pitted parents against their children. ...
Roughly around the time that Rose Shapiro took to the synagogue circuit to denounce John Lindsay, and Joe Kelly took to the streets to defend God and country against the anarchic forces of urban liberalism, American scholars and public intellectuals began turning their attention to the question of ethnicity—particularly, white ethnicity—for the first time in several decades.1 ...
Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 2 illus., 10 tables
Publication Year: 2007
OCLC Number: 773036452
MUSE Marc Record: Download for White Ethnic New York